Southern India is a sacred natural wonder because the places here are not only awe-inspiring but also captivate the visitors with their culture, history and spirituality, which are magnificently reflected through its beautiful temples and marvelous monuments. This fascinating tour includes visit to alluring places like Kochi, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Madurai, Chettinad, Tanjore and many more.
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Arrival at Chennai International Airport- Mahabalipuram
On arrival at Chennai Airport, meet our representative and transfer to the seaside town of Mahabalipuram, Port of the Pallava kings in the 5th to 8th centuries. Along the shore lies a stunning series of temples and sculptures, carved from the living rock 1,200 years ago. Unlike many Hindu temples, the rocks show scenes of everyday life. Check-in your hotel and later go visit with your guide, the magnificent Shore temple, symbolising the heights of Pallava architecture and the maritime ambitions of their kings. Go explore the masterpiece of Mahabalipuram’s Rock cut caves representing the scenes of Hindu myths and finish by the site of the Five Rathas. Each of these temples was named after one of the Pandavas, the five hero-brothers of the epic Mahabharata. Drive back to your hotel for Dinner and overnight stay.
Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry
Breakfast. Check-out, head to Pondicherry. Settled by the French in the 18th century, Pondicherry retains a quiet colonial atmosphere with wide shady streets lined with colourful stucco houses. An ongoing French presence in the town means that many local dishes are subtly fused With French ingredients and techniques. En route visit Auroville and understand the unique community living here based on universal harmony. You will be taken through the visitor’s center and a few of the Auroville units which innovatively work on paper, textile, bamboo and stones among others.. See the Matri mandir (the meditation centre) from outside. Drive to Pondicherry and check in at the hotel. Early evening take a stroll through the French boulevard with our Storyteller. Through reminiscence of almost a century old European occupation, walk through the white town (as the French quarters is popularly known as) while our Storyteller relates the history with what you see around. Back to hotel for dinner and overnight stay
Pondicherry – Kumbakonam-Tanjore
Breakfast. Drive to Tanjore, former capital of the mighty Cholas Empire. En route visit the Colony of Silk Weaver at Darasuram and discover the Art of the Saree Weaving, made out from their Traditional Wood Machinery, tracing few generations. Follow to and see its famous Airavatesvara Chola Temple, UNESCO world heritage site. (Open from 06.00 A.M.-12.30 & 04 P.M. - 8.00 P.M). Enjoy a warm lunch at the Paradise Resorts in Kumbakonam. Later drive to Tanjore visit of the world Heritage-listed Brigadeswara Temple, build in the 11th century by Raja Raja I (‘King of Kings’). Enter through the Nayak gate, followed by two original Gopurams with some elaborate stucco sculptures. Inside discover several shrines, including one of India’s largest statues of Nandi (Shiva’s sacred bull). Proceed to the hotel and check-in. Indulge in the Resort activities, possibilities to witness light Classical Music or a Dance Performance in the evening, organised by the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Tanjore – Chettinad
Breakfast. Check-out and see the Art of Tanjore Veena making and bronze idols by Stapathis (sculptors) as per the traditional Shilpa Sastras (Hindu Craft System) prevailed from the Chola period. Continue your visits to the Thanjavur's Royal Palace, which preserves memories of other powerful dynasties from later centuries. Here, explore the Saraswati Mahal Library Museum housing over 30000 Indian and European manuscripts and the Art Gallery. Later drive through the plains to the unique area of Tamil Nadu known as Chettinad. On arrival check in at your resort .Rest of the time free for independent activities. Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most renowned fare in the Tamil Nadu repertoire. It uses a Variety of spices and the dishes are made with fresh ground spices ''Masalas'' like star aniseed, lichen, tamarind, chilies, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin and fenugreek. Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and no vegetarian dishes. Chettiars also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments. Later in the evening participate in a cooking Demo learning the intricacies of Chettinadu Cuisine followed by Dinner, Overnight stay.
Chettinad – Madurai
Breakfast. Check-out and proceeds for a Heritage tour to explore the elaborately decorated and unique feature of the Chettinad mansions. Visit the Chettinad Palace, built for the royal Alagappa Chettiar in 1912. Stained glass, teak, tiles, granite and wrought iron work truly makes the Chettinad Palace a work of art. Go around the village to see some of the centers making local snack called Murukku and also a small scale weaving centre. Later visit a tile factory at Athangudi. Athangudi tiles are basically cement tiles like mosaic, but unlike the machine pressed and produced mosaics; they are handmade over glass surfaces. Also see the Ayyanar temple (Horse Temple), a place where rows of grinning and colourful terra cotta horses greet you once you enter the temple complex. Later drive to another vibrant city of South India - Madurai. On arrival check in at your Hotel. time free until evening, transfer by auto-rickshaw(Tuk Tuk) to a Roof top Dinner with views to the Gopurams of the Meenakshi temple. Later attend the Night Ceremony with guide at the Meenakshi Temple when bronze idol of Lord Shiva is carried to the bed chamber of Parvati. Return to your hotel by auto-rickshaw(Tuk Tuk). Overnight stay.
Madurai – Thekkady
Breakfast. Check out and leave for Thekkady. Enroute visit the Nearby Tirumalai Nayak Palace, built in 1636 by King Thirumalai Nayak, in Indo-Sarcenic style with the input of an Italian architect. Next make a stop at the Madurai’s flower market, which is one of the Biggest in the southern region, and transacts as much as 10 tonnes of flowers in a day, mainly the renowned Madurai malli and other flowers like marigolds, tuberoses and roses. Continue drive to Thekkady, on arrival take on a Spice Plantation Tour into the tropical fields of the Cardamom Hill reserve where you can touch, smell and taste almost all the spices seen worldwide. Enjoy sip on a Cardamaom tea before our spice escort explains the various types of Spices. Check-in resort for Dinner and overnight stay.
This early morning proceed on a Jungle walk to the Periyar National Park. Enjoy the refreshing air, possibilities to see wild life, excellent flora and Birds. Back at the hotel, Breakfast, check-out and drive down hill to Kumarakom, En route stop at the home stay Madukakunnu Bungalow to experience a typical Syrian Christian lunch, On arrival meet with the hostess who will take you around the Rubber and Fruits and plantations in the premises, followed by Lunch. This ancestral home was built around 400 years back and is located in the midst of a lush green estate. Continue drive to your resort in Kumarakom , on arrival check-in - Dinner and Overnight stay.
Kumarakom – Marari
Breakfast.By Midday proceeds to board the Houseboat for your Backwaters cruise. These boats are a reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times and made out of huge planks of Jack wood, joined with coir from Coconut shells.These original kettuvallams were once used to carry tons of rice and spices. They are today converted into comfortable floating accommodation offering enchanting cruises through the backwaters.Cruise through the palm fringed canals enjoying the beauty of rural village life. A Sumptuous Keralan Lunch served on board. The trip continues through a wonderful area of the lush green vegetation of Kerala backwaters. Tea/Coffee & snacks served on board in the evening. Later disembark and drive to Marai, a typical fishing village, enjoy the experience of pristine shoreline, swaying coconut palms, thatched huts, small paths that crisscross through courtyards and a striking view of the sunset. . On arrival check-in your resort- Dinner and Overnight stay.
Marari – Fort Kochi - Marari
Breakfast . On arrival visit the Jewish Synagogue at the heart of what is locally called the Jew Town, and the Dutch Palace with its beautiful mural paintings from the 17th century. Continue through the small streets of Mattanchery, and arrive at the Fruit market on Palace road where locals get a variety of fresh and organic produces at bargains prices. Don’t miss a stop at the Spice Market, where exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and pepper emanate from the spice warehouses lining the street and fills it. Make a pause at one of the tea shops –to experience the “one meter” Tea. Enjoy a Lunch at a cafe restaurant Then take a tuk tuk– the most popular mode of transport among the localities Go along with your local tour and stop at the Dhobi Khana (laundry station), once throbbing with activity, it is now a picture of slow extinction.,. Later visit of the famous Chinese Fishing Nets of Cochin. The huge cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that droop towards the waters like over-sized hammocks, have become a hallmark that represents Fort Kochi on every postcard... Next visit is at the St. Francis CSI Church, the oldest European church in India built in 1503, where the Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama was originally buried and the Santa Cruz Basilica, one of the finest and imposing churches in India. Back to your resort for dinner and overnight stay.
Departure: Marari– Cochin International Airport
Time to bid good bye. After breakfast transfer to the Cochin International airport to connect your flight back home.
|Tour Start Date||Tour End Date||Availability|
|Supplements||Price / person|
|Single room supplement||₹46,300.00|
|Date Start||Date End||Discount|
Pondicherry walking tour with our Storyteller
Accompanying Spanish Escort for whole tour
Assistance on arrival and departure
Spice plantation tour and Jungle walk at Periyar
Guided Heritage Tour at Chettinad
Entrance charges at the monuments as mentioned in the itinerary
All currently applicable taxes
Lunch at Paradise resorts in Kumbakonam
Shore Temple visit at Mahabalipuram
Farm and Local Meal Experience at the Estate Bungalow
Transportation as per itinerary by chauffeur driven air conditioned Vehicle.
Visit of Auroville with an Aurovillain
Guided Ethnic tour of Kochi by walk and tuk tuk ride
Evening ceremony in Meenakshi temple in Madurai with dinner and by Tuk Tuk
Breakfast and Dinner at All Places.
Visit to Bronze making center, Painting and Veena making centers in Tanjore
Accommodation on twin sharing basis at all hotels mentioned or similar
House boat cruise on the backwaters with lunch on board the house boat
Cooking Demo with Dinner at Chettinad
Any other items not covered under inclusions
Expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, telephones, tipping etc.
International/Domestic flight charges and Visa/Insurance charges, if any
Camera fees & activity charges other than those listed in the itinerary inclusions
|Location||Hotel||Nights||Meal plan / Room type|
|Mahabalipuram||Ideal Beach Resort||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Pondicherry||Windflower Resort||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Tanjore||Ideal River View Resort||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Chettinad||Bangala Heritage||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Madurai||Sangam Resort||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Thekkady||Greenwoods||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Kumarakom||Backwater Ripples||1||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|
|Marari||CGH Marari Beach Resort||2||Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner|